Northwest Local School District (NWLSD) Transportation Department has worked tirelessly over the course of the last year and this summer to put together a seamless plan to address past transportation concerns. Our plan addresses three major areas: creating efficient routes, filling staffing gaps, and maintaining the safety of our students.
ROUTING FOR HIGHER EFFICIENCY
NWLSD was able to create new neighborhood and community bus stop locations, allowing our buses to be more efficient and maximize the bus capacity and efficiency of route times, which decreased the total number of bus stops. With fewer stops, our drivers will be able to complete their routing tiers in a more timely and efficient manner. New bus stop locations are identified on each student’s bus pass.
NWLSD was able to eliminate routes and bus stop locations that were under utilized. NWLSD reached out to both District and parochial families about their intent to utilize NWLSD transportation for the 23-24 school year. We were able to maximize routes by identifying students who were eligible for transportation, but weren’t utilizing the service. As a result, we were able to decrease from 73 to 58 routes.
Alter Start and End Times: We also adjusted some of the start and end times of our buildings to maximize efficiency, specifically on the Pippin Road sites. Staggering arrival and dismissal times, will help alleviate some congestion and will allow buses to navigate routes more seamlessly. We also shortened the elementary student day to approximately what it was before 2018.
FILLING STAFFING GAPS
As many are aware, NWLSD was greatly impacted by the Nation’s driver shortage. Our low staffing resulted in weekly bus cancellations as well as delays around arrival and dismissal times. We have made great efforts to address and fill our vacancies for the 23-24 school year.
Over the Summer, NWLSD held four hiring fairs, in order to fill gaps in staffing. We utilized targeted advertisements on social media and on streaming television to broaden our pool of applicants. The targeted ads ran between the months of May, June, July and August. As a direct result, we were able to fill all of our Contracted Driver vacancies, with seven drivers newly moved into contracted status. We were also able to hire a mechanic.
On August 23, 2023, NWLSD will host an additional Hiring Fair to fill our guaranteed substitute bus driver and bus assistant vacancies. Additional information is below:
August 23, 2023
2:00 PM - 4:30 PM
NWLSD Administrative Offices
3240 Banning Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45239
MAINTAINING THE SAFETY OF STUDENTS
Keeping our students safe is our top priority. That includes establishing safe bus stop locations. Over the summer, some drivers came in to drive the newly established routes and provide feedback about the routing and stop locations. Additionally, the specific driver of the route also drove their routes during inservice. Our drivers and Transportation Administration collaborated on bus locations to make sure our stops were in alignment with the State standards that are identified in the Ohio Administrative Code.